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Review: Zoom’s 2019 Zoomtopia Conference

Zoom Video Communications has announced an array of offerings for 2020 at its third annual Zoomtopia Conference in San Jose.

Key takeaways include:

  • Zoom’s Phone: A telephony solution for current Zoom Meetings customers. The idea is that separate phone systems can be eliminated by integrating Zoom’s Phone with the existing Zoom Meetings platform.
  • Partnership with Microsoft Teams: Zoom announced it will be able to soon integrate with Teams. This will run alongside Zoom’s continued partnership with Slack.
  • AI capabilities: Zoom will partner with to deliver AI solutions for transcribing meetings and generating meeting highlights.

Source: SoftwareReviews Web Conferencing. Accessed October 21, 2019

Our Take

Zoom’s popularity continues to flourish: its attendance for this year’s Zoomtopia was double that of 2018. Moreover, Zoom’s key announcements show a company that has a well-thought-out roadmap for continued steady growth.

The most ambitious offering is certainly Zoom’s Phone telephony solution. As organizations move to using application software for communication, having a separate phone system becomes redundant and costly over time. Organizations that use Zoom Meetings as a default for communication will find much benefit in integrating Zoom’s Phone solution and phasing out unused telephony systems: not only will communication become more unified and streamlined, money will be saved by offloading unneeded phone systems.

Furthermore, it is interesting that Zoom has not sought to invest energy in producing its own IM system to compete with other team collaboration apps. Instead, Zoom has opted to leverage the strength of other big-name IM apps by integrating with them. Now that Zoom has partnered with Microsoft Teams, Office 365 users have the option of using Zoom through their ecosystem, without needing to switch between apps. This move enormously increases Zoom’s potential user audience, with its increased ease of access solidifying Zoom as the go-to video conferencing tool.

Zoom is also pursuing a similar route with the AI market. Rather than moving to acquire organizations with AI capabilities, Zoom is instead opting for partnerships and building relations.

Zoom’s strategy thus seems to be the following: rather than try to build its own collaboration and communication suite, Zoom has chosen a path of least-resistance: integrate with well-used apps and leverage their user base toward using Zoom. This strategy is smart: given Zoom’s popularity, making its apps more readily available within other well-used suites will increase its accessibility.

Source: SoftwareReviews Zoom Scorecard. Accessed October 21, 2019

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